In what is believed to be one of the biggest catch in the high seas, Pakistani fishermen have caught a giant whale shark — about 36 foot long and weighing over 7,000 kg.

The fishermen bought the giant fish to the Karachi fish harbour and claimed to have found it dead in the open sea.

Though some experts believed that the shark might have been killed after it got entangled in a net, The Dawn daily reported.

The whale shark was taken out of the channel with the help of two cranes amid rapturous applause by hundreds of onlookers.

“I have bought the fish, which usually has no significant commercial value, with the help of my friends just to appreciate the efforts of the fishermen who deserve some reward after spending an entire day in the open sea,” Haji Qasim, who said he bought the fish for Rs 2 lakh, was quoted as saying by the daily.

The authorities, he said, had allowed him to keep the fish at the harbour for at least three days for public viewing. “Then I will sell the meat to the people running poultry meal business,” he said.

The shark was spotted floating unconscious in the sea 10 days ago, around 90 miles away from shore, another daily reported.

The Daily Mail of London reported that the largest confirmed whale shark was 41ft long but it is thought they can grow to considerably greater lengths.

The shark is found in tropical waters and lives for around 70 years. They feed mainly on plankton, microscopic plants and sometimes small fish.

The whale shark, a gentle giant of the seas, does not pose a significant danger to humans and in the past some have even allowed swimmers to hitch a ride on their fins, it reported.